UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA Dr. Jane Halonen Fall Dr. Jane Halonen Fall 2014 POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY PSY
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UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA
Department of Psychology
Dr. Jane Halonen Fall 2014
POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY PSY 3680
TR 2:30-3:45, Bldg 41.134
Instructor: Dr. Jane Halonen Office: 233/ Building 41
E-Mail: email@example.com Phone: 474-2763
Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday 9-11
Number of Credit Hours: 3 semester hours
The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths (3rd edition)
by Snyder, Lopez, & Pedrotti
Sage Publications, 2015
Several additional readings will enrich our positive psychology perspective
throughout the semester. These will be accessible through e-learning.
”Believe that life is worth living, and your belief with help create the fact.” ~William James
Founder of American Psychology
Within the last two decades, a new orientation with interesting historical roots has
emerged in the psychological study of human behavior. Positive psychology focuses
on explaining, predicting, and enhancing the strengths and virtues that help
individuals and communities thrive. This framework represents quite a departure
from traditional psychology with its emphasis on objective reality, deviance and
abnormality, and statistical differences.
This course will include a review of the historical and philosophical foundations of
positive psychology. We will explore applications of the science of positive
psychology with attention to human strengths and virtues (e.g. integrity, altruism,
hope, gratitude, wisdom, courage), positive affect (e.g., love, friendship), resilience,
coping, workplace implications, and positive development across the lifespan. A
special feature will be exploring how positive psychology principles can enhance
planning for one’s own professional development.
Special thanks to Dr. Laura Koppes and Dr. Dana Dunn for assistance in building the
course architecture and contributing to the syllabus design.
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
At the conclusion of this course, successful students will be able to
• Recognize and demonstrate understanding of terminology, concepts, and theories
in positive psychology
• Describe differences between positive psychology and traditional orientations in
• Identify most prominent contributors to the positive psychology literature
• Critically evaluate and integrate the positive psychology scientific literature in
informed science-based conclusions
• Apply positive psychology to address psychological questions and problems
• Demonstrate professional quality expression in writing, speaking, and poster
• Effectively read and discuss primary sources in psychology
• Use positive psychology principles to enhance personal and professional
• Exhibit skill in recognizing human strengths in generating positive outcomes
• Enact intentional strategies that reflect a positive orientation
Project Management/Professional Development
• Exercise efficient and productive management of projects on both an individual
and group level
• Articulate a reasonable pathway for professional development following
The purpose of course requirements is to provide the opportunity for you to
demonstrate your accomplishment of the student learning outcomes. I expect you
to take responsibility for your learning by being prepared and to take the initiative
to ask questions and complete the course requirements above and beyond the
1. Class Attendance and Participation: Attendance and participation in class
discussion are extremely important; you learn when you ask questions to clarify
information, share experiences, and discuss various issues of positive psychology.
Class participation also includes exploring the challenges faced in situations and
practicing relevant skills. Attendance will not be taken formally but you are
expected to come to class. Please refer to the university attendance policy in the
UWF Catalog (http://uwf.edu/catalog/). There will be seven unannounced learning
demonstrations that will require being present and punctual for the demonstration
points to count. Only five demonstrations will be counted toward your grade.
2. Required Readings: Reading (i.e., articles, text chapters) provides current
theoretical and empirical research as well as applications. It is your responsibility
to read the articles/chapters prior to the class for which they are assigned.
Research articles will be available on e-Learning.
3. In-Class Examinations: There will be 2 examinations, a midterm and a final,
worth 100 points each. The exams will cover the textbook material (assigned
reading), research articles, in-class activities, in-class lectures, and student
Exam procedure. You should plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early for exam
class periods. No extra time will be provided if you are late. No one can start the
exam after the first person has finished the exam. Cell phones must be turned off
and put away (if you require a cell phone or beeper for an emergency tell me
BEFORE the exam). Do not wear hats during the exam. There should be nothing on
your desk except for a pen/pencil.
Make-up exams. Make-up exams will only be arranged for university-
sponsored events or a documentable emergency/event (e.g., surgery, grad school
interview), and will differ from the in-class exam. If you know in advance that you
will miss an exam, please inform me as soon as possible prior to the exam.
Otherwise, you must notify me within 24 hours with a documented reason why you
missed the exam (doctor’s note, police report, etc.) and schedule the make-up when
I contact you about the exam. With no exceptions, failure to comply with these
policies will result in a grade of zero for that exam. The substitute examination may
be oral rather than written.
4. In-Class Homework Demonstration: Seven (7) in-class homework
demonstrations will be conducted, each worth 10 points. These demos will be
unannounced, will be administered at the beginning of the class meeting, and will
cover the reading and in-class material for that class meeting. The format of the
demonstrations may be quizzes, critical thinking examples, or other strategies that
reflect your reading. In other words, you will complete the demonstration while we
are meeting in class. Therefore, you must attend class to get points for the demos.
You also must be punctual. You can only secure the points if you are in your seat
when the music used to open the class comes to an end. For the final course grade, I
will drop your two lowest demonstration scores in the event that you needed to
miss class or you ran into other problems of living. I do not permit make-ups.
Therefore, use your 2 freebies wisely! When you submit the demos, please be sure
to write your name on the submission. A maximum of 50 points can be earned from
5. Experiential Learning. Throughout the course, you will complete 10
applications of reading outside of class. Each assignment is worth 10 points.
Instructions will be given throughout the semester and posted on e-learning. For
many of these assignments, you will prepare a typed summary submitted to e-
learning via the dropbox. No late assignments will be accepted. When you submit
the assignment, please be sure to write your name on the submission.
Extra Credit Options: All extra credit options can provide no more than 10 points
max to your total. This strategy is a way of providing you borderline insurance to
avoid falling into the lower grade range, rather than generating substantial point
totals. Each strategy is a different one. You may elect only two extra credit
Option 1. Nonrandom Acts of Kindness
For each week of the semester (15 weeks), you will engage in at least 2 random acts
of kindness or good deeds. Do something kind for someone else without attracting
any attention to yourself or taking any credit whatsoever. The kind act or good deed
can be small (picking up the trash in a neighbor’s yard; putting a coin in an expired
parking meter), but it should be done anonymously or secretly. To earn credit (5
points), you must turn in a log of the activity and a reaction paper describing the
cumulative impact of such intentional positivity at the end of the experience.
Option 2. Integrity Event
The Student Government Association runs a university-wide event that considers
some aspects of academic inte